How much should you set aside if you want to set up a booth for a two- or three-day event? A common concern that SMBs have with trade show marketing is the cost. Many fear that hosting an exhibit for several days will set their finances back by several grand — which they would have to earn back in leads.
Contrary to popular belief, brands can execute trade show marketing strategies without overspending. The key lies in research. Understanding the average cost of rent, booth construction, promotional items, and manpower, among other expenditures, will help you create realistic budget plans.
Brands typically need to allocate 11% of their trade show marketing budget for the construction or rental of their exhibit. The three most common types of exhibits include:
Convention centers charge varying rates per square foot. Unfortunately, the only way to determine rental rates accurately is to request the estimates yourself. Expect that centers in larger cities charge more. You might have to shell out several grand if you want a relatively large exhibit space in cities like New York or Las Vegas.
As a trade show booth owner, you are responsible for your event staff. Apart from their salaries, you’ll also have to consider their daily meals, transportation, and commissions. Don’t skimp your employees. The success of your booth heavily depends on their sales and marketing skills.
What promotional items do you plan on handing out at the event? Standard options like pens, lanyards, and flyers will keep your overhead low, but they might not yield the best results.
If you want to make an impact, opt for customizable freebies that suit your brand. For instance, let’s say you have a software development startup. Instead of boring flyers, you can hand out USB flash drives containing free trials to your program or app.
So, how much should you set aside for your trade show booth? SMBs will have plenty of options with $10,000 to $20,000. This amount covers a 10x10 to 20x20 sq. ft. booth, two-person event staff, and standard promotional items.
However, larger brands that want to stand out should consider investing at least $50,000. For this amount, you’ll get a massive 50x50 sq. ft. trade show booth, multiple event staff, and premium promotional items.
Are you having doubts about whether trade show booths will benefit your business? Exhibit Display Systems can shed some light on the topic! Check out our in-depth resources explaining everything SMBs should about trade show marketing.